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FDP Forum / The 'Pup' Tent / Lace Holy Grails - Noise Problem in Middle and Neck

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beatlefan
Contributing Member
****

It's all in the mind

"Tip-toe through the Meanies"
Feb 8th, 2009 12:31 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"One, in the scheme I've described, shouldn't the volume pot be in contact with the pickguard shield, in order to complete the grounding of the shield and claw ground?"

Yes...but only because you are not running a wire from the volume pot to the shielding. You are instead using the direct contact of the pickguard shield with the cavity shield via the little strip that extends onto the face of the body. I still recommend you change this as I previously noted. Troubleshooting with the pickguard removed is made more difficult in this case because of the broken ground circuit.

"Two, assuming all the soldering at the switch is OK, is it possible that the "hot" leads or blade of the switch make contact with ground (shield, or other ground) in only some positions of the switch? Second, in the scheme I've described, should the switch housing be isolated from the shielding on the pickguard?"

Agree that a "hot" touching the shielding will reduce the power of the pups. No, you don't need to isolate the switch housing from the shield.

"I'm beginning to think the grounding problem is to be found at the switch (hot connection somehow contacting the shielding, and in turn going to ground). As I've said, the bridge pickup is quiet. I'm going to try connecting the other pickups (one at a time) to the bridge lug of the switch and see if they're also quiet in that switch setting)."

Have you done this yet?

Also,does the buzzing change when you touch the strings or the jack or bridge of your guitar?



Purplejersey

Canada

Feb 12th, 2009 01:41 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Update.

I got so fed up with my troubleshooting that I took the guitar into a pro tech at a trusted shop here in Toronto. Their evaluation? The middle and neck pickups in the Holy Grails simply are more noisy than the bridge pickup!

They compared my guitar to a number of others with Holy Grails installed, and they all had the same issue.

I must say that I am disappointed that Lace would package pickups together as a set with such different noise characteristics. I wrote Lace about 2 weeks ago to ask them whether what I was experiencing was to be expected. Since they haven't responded to me (thanks, but no thanks, to their website's offer that I can always call them in California if an e-mail reply is slow!) I have no choice but to accept the evaluation of the tech.

It would appear that the only solution is to put together a set with gold Holy Grails in all three positions.

If somebody from Lace reads this Board, they might do themselves some good if they were to post a response.

beatlefan
Contributing Member
****

It's all in the mind

"Tip-toe through the Meanies"
Feb 12th, 2009 07:02 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have never heard of Gold or Silvers with respect to Holy Grails. The sets I have owned have always been just "Holy Grails" 10.7K neck/10.7K mid/11.5K bridge.

Neck and Mid are part #'s HG-1000, Bridge is HG-1500.

Check your part #'s

-BF

SMark
Contributing Member
**

Atlanta, GA USA

"Life is good when you love your tone."
Feb 12th, 2009 08:52 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"They compared my guitar to a number of others with Holy Grails installed, and they all had the same issue."


That is nothing short of weird. All of them had the same issue? My Holy Grails are all dead silent. Can you post a pic of these pups or post some reference to a pic on the web that matches your pickups? I'm with Beatlefan on this, what you describe just doesn't sound like a set of Holy Grails.

Purplejersey

Canada

Feb 12th, 2009 09:08 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Beatlefan,

I refer to them as Gold and Silver because that is what the colour of the "Lace" appears to be (to my eye). They are the exact part numbers you refer to. Don't get hung up on the language I've used.

They were bought new, retail, and as a set from a reputable store here in Toronto. I have the "real McCoys".

They are quiet (all three pickups) until you switch to a gain setting. Once gain is applied, there is an audible difference in the noise levels of the neck and middle. Btw the way, I'm not talking "death metal overdrive" here, just moderate (crunch) levels of gain.

As to how "strange it is", please note that tktmsa said he had the exact same problem.

I passed everything I read here onto my tech. His simple answer is that Holy Grails are not "0 noise". His theory about the difference between the bridge and neck/middle is that the extra windings of the bridge act to reduce noise more effectively than the other pickups at gain levels.

Since his store sold me the Grails, and he's willing to simply swap the neck/middles with HG-1500's to give me consistent noise rejection, I can't see any motivation he would have to give me anything other than his honest evaluation of the problem.

Purplejersey

Canada

Feb 12th, 2009 09:15 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

SMark,

I can't take any pictures till I get my Strat back from the shop, but the link below to Lace's website describes the set I have: 3 pack with 1 HG-1500 and 2 HG-1000s.

Hey, nobody is more surprised than me at this problem, given what I have read about these pickups.

However, I took a run at installing them (having installed a number of pickups before without incident), a pro tech then checked the installation, and then that pro A-B'ed other guitars with the same set and gave me his opinion.

I'm just as puzzled when I read someone's post that says "mine are dead quiet", because I would not describe my middle and neck (the HG1000s) as "dead quiet". Definitely quieter than stock, but definitely noisier than the HG1500.

http://lacemusic.com/electric_pickups/holy_grail/holy_grail_specs.php

(This message was last edited by Purplejersey at 09:55 AM, Feb 13th, 2009)

amphead4
Contributing Member
****

Cincinnati, USA

Feb 12th, 2009 10:08 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Something's not right with the install. Bypass the tone circuits to see if that changes things.

Purplejersey

Canada

Feb 13th, 2009 07:54 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Amphead,

I'm forced to trust that my tech has considered and tried the troubleshooting that you, and others, have suggested.

Nothing but a response from Lace (and better yet, direct contact from Lace to my repair guy) would really clear up this difference of opinion for me.

SMark
Contributing Member
**

Atlanta, GA USA

"Life is good when you love your tone."
Feb 13th, 2009 08:23 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Let's hope that happens. I'm interested...

beatlefan
Contributing Member
****

It's all in the mind

"Tip-toe through the Meanies"
Feb 13th, 2009 05:50 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I am surprised at this too. I have had two sets of these and they were/are equally quiet in all positions. Pedals or gain channels often introduce noise into your signal chain that is not the fault of the pickups themselves.

Anyway, good luck to you and your tech in coming up with a solution you can live with.

-BF

FIDDLERCRAB

CANADA

Feb 26th, 2009 12:35 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hi there, just found this topic, I've had Lace Holy Grails for several years now and mine are not totally quiet. When I spoke to Lace about this they told me that that was normal, that to have the best compromise between noise rejection and sound quality - retain as much single coil character and sound as possible - they did not wind both coils exactly the same, but purposely made them slightly unbalanced. Also, that if you wanted to specify them for maximum noise rejection, such as in the case of players who planned on using them close to a computer/monitor, they would make them with matched coils. The downside would be a slight loss of sound quality - less gritty and more stereophonic (sterile-phonic!)like - for quieter pickup. I also find them more sensitive to their installed location, ie. how much and what kind of shielding material you're using around the p/u, even whether or not it is the closest p/u to the trem block.

I did also have one fail on me recently, I was able to repair it by carefully warming up the p/u with a hairdryer to remove the cover, then find the break in the wiring. It just happened to be in one of the coils. I was able to repair it, but not without losing a several hundred ohms worth of wire off of that coil. The interesting thing was that after I reinstalled the p/u,it was now almost totally quiet, had a slightly lower output and was slightly hollow sounding and less gritty. I changed the location of this p/u from the middle to the neck position - sounds great there!

Hope this helps.

Purplejersey

Canada

Feb 26th, 2009 02:54 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Fiddler,

Thanks for your message. Tends to support what my tech is telling me. I'm still waiting for my tech to install 3 identical pickups (HG 1500's) in the guitar to test whether his theory about the difference between the HG1500 and the HG1000 is correct.

I'll be sure to post, either way.

off tour
Contributing Member

USA / So Cal

Musician
Mar 1st, 2009 11:58 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"I got so fed up with my troubleshooting that I took the guitar into a pro tech at a trusted shop here in Toronto. Their evaluation? The middle and neck pickups in the Holy Grails simply are more noisy than the bridge pickup!"

Your 100% correct!
the neck and middle buzzed on my set just as much as stock single coils did .. NO doubt about it!
only the bridge was quiet!

Purplejersey

Canada

Mar 3rd, 2009 03:07 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

For those who are interested, putting HG1500s in all three positions solved the problem.

It therefore appears that my tech was right. The HG1000 are inherently noisier than the HG1500.

amphead4
Contributing Member
****

Cincinnati, USA

Mar 3rd, 2009 03:16 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I find this surprising.

Bill D.
Contributing Member
***

Fresno, CA USA

I pick...therefore, I play...
Mar 3rd, 2009 08:40 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have had 2 sets of Holy Grails and this is correct. I still have one set. The neck pick-up is quieter than the neck and middle pick-ups.

Strumboli
Contributing Member
*

Philly, PA

Soul2Soul
Apr 6th, 2009 05:09 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I just installed a set of Holy Grails in my strat, and there is a tiny bit of buzz, nothing like a standard single coil, but it is there.
Also, the middle pickup is alot louder than the other two. I wonder if they were mislabeled?

When I touch the strings, they get alot quieter. I wonder if I should run ground wire from pot to pot also?
Mike

Purplejersey

Canada

Apr 8th, 2009 09:44 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Strumboli,

One thing that I learned from my experience was that Holy Grails are not truly "noiseless" by design. You still have to ground the strings, just like any other strat.

In terms of pickup balance, I can tell you that my middle and neck pups are set MUCH lower than my bridge pickup in order to balance levels (and that was the case with both the standard Holy Grails set I started out with as well as the HG1500 x 3 I ended up with).

Strumboli
Contributing Member
*

Philly, PA

Soul2Soul
Apr 8th, 2009 06:55 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks PurpleJersey, I'm going to have to tweak them a bit still. I don't know if I like them or not, yet. I have been A-B'ing them with a set of Tex Mex pups, and the TM's sound so alive and responsive in comparison.

When you mentioned "grounding the strings", do you mean by touching them, or actually grounding them??
Mike

Krusty the brown

UK

Mar 8th, 2016 05:45 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have the same issue on the middle pup only...

Previous 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / The 'Pup' Tent / Lace Holy Grails - Noise Problem in Middle and Neck




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